Collaboration Partners:

LG Chem  |  General Motors

Progress on Ultium plant moves on, up

February 20, 2021

On Friday, ironworkers with Local 207 in Boardman — who’ve been erecting the skeleton for months — hoisted and set the last piece of structural steel into place in a “topping out” ceremony, marking a significant milestone in the $2.3 billion plant.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” said Curtis Mitchell of Austintown, a member of Local 207 and of the raising crew that lifted the beam adorned with a small evergreen tree into its final resting place.

A “topping off” ceremony is a rite among builders that goes back many, many years. Its origins, however, are murky.

Before it, Local 207 members and employees of Barton Malow, the Michigan-based general contractor for the project, signed the beam.

“This is a big moment. Literally a year ago, we had a bar napkin. We had no drawings, no nothing. We had some schematics, like two sheets,” said John Hanmer, project management with Barton Malow. “To see us go from there to today; we were standing in a 6-foot tall bush of prickers a year ago. It is an amazing amount of work that has gone in since April.”

Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture between General Motors and South Korea’s LG Chem to mass produce battery cells that will power several electric GM models.

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